December 27, 2010

Garrett Wittels Charged with Rape

It's the type of story that, when you see the headline, you're hoping that it doesn't involve the one dude at Florida International University that you know.

But, unfortunately, it does.

Last Monday, friend of The Hall, FIU baseball star (and owner of the NCAA's second longest hitting streak) Garrett Wittels and a group of friends were arrested in the Bahamas and charged with the rape of two 17-year-old girls.

According to online reports, the incident happened at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in Paradise Island on December 20. Wittels and his two friends were each released on $10,000 bond after a court hearing Thursday.

"Anyone can accuse anyone of anything at any time," Wittels' father Michael said in a piece that ran in The Miami Herald. "He's not doing well, obviously. He's blown away. He's devastated that someone would accuse him of this."

According to The Miami Herald:

Garrett (Wittels) and his friends met the girls in question at the Bahamian casino, and they later followed the young men willingly to a private party. Surveillance video exists, Michael Wittels added, showing the girls, and not the accused, were the aggressors, at least in public. The age of the girls, who passed themselves off as students at the University of Arkansas and were drinking in the casino, is not an issue in the case. The age of consent for sexual activity is 16 in the Bahamas.

Wittels' family wants to make clear that it was a personal matter, and not one involving FIU, as the arrest occurred far off campus and during winter break.  As to what affect the arrest might have on Wittels' eligibility for the upcoming season...it's too soon to say.

And while it is way to early to speculate, if the 20-year-old is able to resume play February 18, he'll have a chance to tie and break the NCAA hit streak record of 58 games (set by Robin Ventura in 1987) when FIU opens its season in a three-game series against Southeastern Louisiana.

This past July, The Hall was able to catch up with the third baseman...you can read the interview HERE.


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